FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 
May 4, 2021
CONTACT: 
Rep. Steineke - (608) 266-2401
Rep. August - (608) 266-1190

WI Lawmakers Urge Harris to Act on Border Crisis

MADISON, Wisconsin – Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) and Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) recently toured the U.S.-Mexico border to see firsthand the humanitarian and security crisis that has unfolded under the leadership of Vice President Kamala Harris. Ahead of her visit to Milwaukee on Tuesday, the lawmakers penned an open letter to Harris requesting decisive action be taken.

Appointed by President Biden to serve as the southern border czar more than five weeks ago, Harris has yet to make time to tour the affected region or articulate a clear plan to solve the unfolding crisis. The void in leadership from the White House comes as a reported 170,000 migrant crossings that took place in March 2021 — marking a 15-year high for monthly crossings of U.S.-Mexico border.

“Right now, these border communities are entirely overrun and their resources are being overwhelmed as they work to tackle this issue on their own,” said Assembly Majority Leader Steineke. “The void in leadership coming from the White House on this matter is unconscionable. Vice President Harris must take her role as border czar seriously at once to address this growing security concern.”

With an uptick in the number of illegal crossings occurring each day, there has also been a dramatic increase in the volume of violent criminals entering the country as well as a surge in human trafficking by cartels. In the 220-mile stretch of border visited by Steineke and August, U.S. Border Patrol estimates cartels are netting approximately $24 million in trafficking-related revenues each and every week.

“For too long, the cartels have been riding roughshod over the federal government and overwhelming what state and local resources are available,” said Representative August. “The fact that the Vice President continues to ignore this growing humanitarian crisis is simply despicable.”

According to figures provided by the Del Rio Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, in the past year: known crossings of sex offenders have increased 2,433%; overall apprehensions have increased by 361%; and unaccompanied children crossings have increased by 258%.

At a press conference today discussing their tour, Steineke and August also announced that they will be sponsoring a legislative resolution calling upon Wisconsin Governor Evers to offer assistance to combat the growing crisis. A video documenting their trip can be viewed here.

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